Monday, February 27, 2017

Of Life and Birth and Mysterious Journeys


By Tracy Weber

I never wanted to have children of my own. Scratch that.  I had a passing urge in my twenties. I got a cat and it went away. I do, however, enjoy helping other mothers and mothers-to-be. Still, it’s hard to authentically advocate how much prenatal yoga can help with childbirth and recovery when you’ve never been pregnant, much less given birth.
So I did the only think I could think of to learn about the childbirth experience: I became a doula.
At least on paper.
I’ve taken doula training twice.  I never thought I’d actually end up in a delivery suite, but I figured the more I knew about childbirth, the more I could be in help my students plan for it. I was immediately struck in the training by how strong people’s opinions were about the “right” way to give birth.  The topic seemed to be as contentious as recent presidential elections. But I digress….
I graduated and integrated my learnings into my prenatal yoga classes.  A student even asked me to attend her birth, but she needed an emergency c-section, and I wasn’t allowed in the surgical suite.  Years went by. I forgot everything I ever learned about being a doula, except as it related to my yoga classes.
Then my best friend got pregnant and told me that she thought she should have a doula at her first birth. I agreed. Hiring an experienced doula was a fabulous idea. 
“You don’t get it,” she said. “It has to be you.”
I tried to convince her that I was utterly incompetent. I assured her that that she could hire thousands of doulas who would be better than me. She refused to consider anyone else.  So back to doula school I went.
Attending that birth will always be one of the greatest highlights of my life.  My friend’s labor was a difficult one, over twenty hours long. I was, as I’d feared, pretty much incompetent.  But my friend didn’t seem to mind.  And I’ll never forget her son’s hand reaching toward me as he entered the world.
So how did I connect that experience with murder?  I didn’t. At least not directly. But I was moved by the stories I’d heard in training, perplexed by the controversies, and transformed by my own experience bumbling through such an important life event.  And of course my protagonist, Kate, would do anything for her best friend, Rene.  So when Rene became pregnant with twins in A Killer Retreat, I knew I’d eventually write about her birth.
The result is A Fatal Twist.
I hope you read and enjoy it. 

Tracy Weber

All four books in the Downward Dog Mystery Series are available at booksellers everywhere!


Edith Maxwell said...

I love this, Tracy! I taught independent childbirth classes to couples in my living room for several years, and was hired as doula/labor support by a few of them. But I also attended several friends' births, and really the most important thing is to just be there for them, smooth their brow, bring them water or a popsicle, hold them up. I'm sure it made your friend feel so comforted just to have you there, even if you felt incompetent.

I also love that I can bring all those experiences to play in my Quaker Midwife mysteries. Am off to order Fatal Twist now - I can't get enough of childbirth stories!

Tracy Weber said...

Than you Edith! I hope you love it!

Ian Tierney said...

As a former Childbirth Educator who attended births, I thoroughly enjoyed Fatal Twist. Tracy, your latest book really spoke to me. Left me wanting more of your books.

Joan Tierney said...

Joan Tierney posted , as a former Childbirth Educators, I was thiroughly entertained by a Fatal Twist. Cannot wait for Kate Davidson"s next adventure. I love this series!

Tracy Weber said...

Thank you, Joan!